'I'm A Celebrity' finale peaks with 13 million
The live finale of I'm A Celebrity averaged a hefty 11.81 million viewers - a 48.4% share of the audience - between 9pm and 10.30pm, achieving a series high and ranking first for the day. The peak of 13 million and a 54% share came just after 10pm when the result was announced.
Overall the series averaged 9.3 million and a 39.6% share, up from 8.3 million and a 35.8% share for the previous series in 2004.
"Once again I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! has gripped the nation, with everyone talking about this year's jungle antics," said Simon Shaps, ITV's director of television. “We are thrilled that the programme has proved more popular than ever and that so many millions have tuned in to the series over the past two weeks."
Two episodes of Coronation Street had to settle for second and third places overall, averaging respective audiences of 11.38 million (50.8%) and 11.19 million (45.4%) at 7.30pm and 8.30pm. EastEnders took 10.71 million (46.3%) for fourth, followed in fifth by Emmerdale with 9.08 million (43.8%).
Despite the tough competition, BBC One put in an admirable performance through prime with an average of 3.82 million (15.4%) for the 90-minute doco Tsunami: Seven Hours on Boxing Day.
BBC Two began with 1.68 million (7.3%) for Dubai Dreams at 8pm before rising sharply to 2.63 million (10.6%) for University Challenge. Five had 1.19 million (5%) for Fifth Gear, leaving C4 in the shade with a dismal 0.46 million (1.9%) with coverage of The Turner Prize 2005.
Channel 4 turned its fortunes around at 9pm with the Cherie Blair-fronted documentary Married to the Prime Minister, which averaged 1.81 million (7.3%). On BBC Two, Never Mind the Buzzcocks began strongly with 1.64 million (6.6%) before Broken News tumbled to 1.02 million (4.1%), while on Five, a Murder Prevention repeat averaged 0.99 million (4.4%) through 11pm.
The finale of spinoff show I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here - NOW! was guaranteed to top the multichannel chart, having averaged 1.02 million and a 9.4% share between 10.30pm and 11.30pm.
Otherwise, the channel failed to register, however: its lineup of Airline repeats and the documentary Real Crime lingered below the 200,000 mark early in prime.
BBC Three had a successful night, beginning with 329,000 (1.9%) for The House of Tiny Tearaways in the 8pm hour. Topical documentary Come Home Gary Glitter averaged 302,000 (1.7%) from 9 while an hour later, repeats of EastEnders and Little Britain put in respective audiences of 421,000 (2.5%) and 630,000 (4.9%).
Other strong performers included E4's first-run Hollyoaks (365,000, 2.5%), ITV3's Cadfael (296,000, 1.8%) and BBC Four movie Good Morning, Vietnam (260,000, 3.2%).